Continuing adventures of being a silly cow 

Continuing adventures of being a silly cow 

This week, as I have said, I am on a very stupid diet. You could say I am on a whole sort of self improvement mission and last night I decided to embark on some extreme teeth whitening. 

I have the stuff from the dentist (not for me the purchased online crap) and custom made trays or whatever you call them. This isn’t the first time I have done it, but it’s the first time I have done it over night. Other attempts have seen me manage an hour or two and then I remove them. 

I slept from midnight to 6am, with the trays in. My teeth are in agony today, I was out running this evening and the wind hurt them.  Six hours of bleaching has left me with very white teeth that are aching. 

What an idiot, on the plus side I can’t eat anything. 

Fat girl thin 

Fat girl thin 

Whilst I am a doctor, have several degrees and postgraduate qualifications and generally am a woman of sound scientific mind, there is one area (well two areas if you count my belief in psychics) where I suspend all rational and scientific thought and turn into an idiot. 

I am on a mission, I have had months of not looking after myself properly and whilst I have still been exercising it is nothing like previous levels of training. I’ve gone from over 10 hours a week to 3 hours, but I have kept eating like I was doing 10. 

This week I want desperately  to lose 7lbs, I will weigh myself several times a day, eat only vegetables, limited fruit and lean protein (eggs, chicken, venison) until the scales say what I want them to. 

I have binned the remaining Easter eggs and have bought in huge quantities of healthy things. The backbone of this plan is my nutribullet blender. The nutribullet is a way of turning vegetables into drinks, it liquidises everything you give it.  


This is my breakfast today, spinach, a bashed up banana and some frozen berries, add water and whizz it up. Lunch is more of the same, kale, grapes and apples. 

I have cleverly picked a week when this madness will have a minimal impact on my family, the children will not be aware of my stupid and faddish diet and I can indulge in my eating disordered behavior without fear of giving my children weird ideas. 

Repetitive daily weighing for me is crucial to the success of my diet, as is the horrible phrase “you don’t deserve to eat X when you weigh Ykg”. Kate Moss said that “nothing tastes as good as being skinny feels” which is total rubbish of course and she obviously has never tried Brie de Meaux on a freshly baked bit of baguette or had sticky toffee pudding. I have to make sure that nothing in my fridge tastes better than the thought of dieting success. This bunny has been in there for a few days and each time I am in the fridge I eat a bit of its ears. So the bunny has just been turned into home baking for my sons rugby team. 


Incidentally, my mother believes she is the inventor of Kate Moss’s saying, she is also the inventor of the extreme “grapefruit and tomato diet” and likes to tell me exactly what she eats every single day. Hence why I am keen for my children not to pick up any of this crazy shit from me. My daughter has never seen me weigh myself or talk about my weight and nor will she. 

Back to the mad world that I am about to inhabit; if I manage to weigh myself about five times a day, I then don’t fall off the wagon and somehow find myself in the supermarket holding a warm croissant and biting into the end as soon as I walk out. Or eating the crusts of my children’s toast, or standing at the open door of my fridge eating slices of Parma ham. 

In 6 weeks time I will be able to exercise like normal again (if all goes well) and can get back to eating like a 100kg bricklayer because I’m using that many calories. Until then, I am going to have to control what goes in my mouth as I can’t cycle and swim and run it all off. 

So, the good stuff has been hidden away, I’ve bought loads of vegetables and fruit, I have put batteries in the scales and am weighing myself every time I go to the toilet, I’ve selected a pair of trousers to try on every night and morning until they fit, I have no social obligations this week where I have to eat anything and I am ready to go. 

The trouble with the plan is that is 11am and I am hungry, it must be time to weigh myself again. 

I do not recommend any of my dieting techniques from a medical point of view, obviously. Obsessively weighing yourself is bad, excluding food groups is bad, living on eggs, kale and grapes is clearly bad. This is something I will do for a week or two and then stop. 

What sort of leave is Sam Cam on? 

There is annual leave, sick leave, maternity leave, in my job I even get study leave to attend courses and exams. As a working woman I can’t help but wonder what sort of leave Samantha Cameron is on, special husband supporting leave of some sort? No sign of Nicola Sturgeon’s other half, presumably he is at work. 

They’d be more likely to grab the female vote if their wives stayed at work like all the other normal working women. The double standards are appalling. 

Nick Clegg’s missus, quite rightly, is too busy to join her husband on the campaign trail. 

Addendum: last night’s news saw Miriam Gonzalez (Mrs Clegg) gurning it up for the cameras in a park on the campaign trail. Get back to work! 

fingers in too many pies sam cam




Before every theatre list we have a team huddle, the nurses, anaesthetist and us get together to discuss the list. It is a safety briefing distinct from the Surgical Pause that is done immediately prior to the case. 

In it we have a surgical summary, an anaesthetic summary, confirm they have been fasted or are ERAS, allergies, discuss the antibiotic plan, thromboprophylaxis, positioning, equipment etc. 

We (surgeon) go first, summarising the case and plan of the procedure. Nobody interrupts us. Next, the anaesthetist. If my boss is a man, and the anaesthetist is a woman he will now interrupt her. Almost always. 

It’s reaching the point where I am tempted to tape 40 surgical briefings and include 10 male surgeon with female anaesthetist, 10 male surgeons with male anaesthetist, and then do the same with female surgeons and make anaesthetists. My hypothesis is that we (females) don’t interrupt anyone and make any points afterwards and that male surgeons interrupt the anaesthetist.  

Election 2015: plenty of women being interrupted on here too

The boys need to learn some manners. I’m not sure if this project would be publishable or not but it might make for interesting discussion at our joint departmental meetings! 

My worst body fluid experience ever. 

My worst body fluid experience ever. 

When I was a senior house officer in Accident and Emergency, I had a patient with a lost tampon. Lost tampons occur relatively frequently and probably we had about one a month come in for a good rummage. 

The vagina is not a straight tube, it is not like a tube of mini eggs for example. It has secret crannies and crooks and is generally an amazing and incredible orifice, provider of fun and producer of children. It stretches and shrinks and bleeds and if a man had a vagina it would be celebrated and loved I am sure. 

In came a girl one Sunday evening, she had put a tampon in on Friday morning. She had been drinking alcohol all weekend and had had sex several times without a condom and then realised, thanks to a funny sort of smell, that she had left a tampon in. The problem being of course that she now couldn’t retrieve it. 

I had a feel, it was lying horizontally under her cervix. I began to pull gently and it didn’t budge. It was wet and full and very slimy and hard to get a grip of. 

I yanked and tugged to no avail. We tried a change of position, got her to lie on her side instead of her back with her legs splayed open. This worked and I had a grip on the string, I tugged again and suddenly with an almighty slurping sound the tampon came whizzing out. It flew through the air, showering me, the nurse and the curtain in a mixture of old menstrual blood and her boyfriends semen. The smell was appalling. “That’s it now you can get dressed.” 

I bent double as I retched and gagged behind the curtain and wiped it from my face. The smelly tampon was surrounded in a slimy coating of pubes and God knows what else. 

“Don’t worry” I said cheerfully. “It happens all the time.”  

I lie to patients sometimes, if I didn’t they wouldn’t like it. 

The rules apply to everyone 

The rules apply to everyone 

This week the department of surgery in Bighospital has a celebrity patient of sorts, one of our own. When we have one of our own on the ward they are treated well, a side room, no idiots sent to do your bloods, no medical students darken your door, you even get to abuse visiting hours as everyone pops in to wish you a speedy recovery all day long. 

There is even a sort of polite protocol; door open means visitors are welcome, door closed means they are not.

Some rules can’t be changed though and our wonderful ward clerkess, the sort of woman who calls a spade a “fuckin’ shovel”, was taking no nonsense from one visitor who was sitting on our patients bed. 

Sitting on a patient’s bed is a crime, it would result in an instant fail of our hygiene inspection if the infection  police saw it. (You can read my views on health and safety in the NHS here and here). 

Our very important patient had a visitor who was sitting on the bed,  the clerkess walked past and saw the besuited back and regal head of this person. “Oi, you can’t sit on the bed”. Patient spluttered “Don’t you know who this is?”  gesturing to the visitor. With a broad smile the visitor inclined their head “I am the chief executive of this trust”. 

Not missing a beat and certainly not impressed, the clerkess said “even worse, it’s your stupid rule. Now beat it”. 

This story has gone across the floor and made us all laugh and elevated the ward clerkess to celebrity status. 

The chief exec is just a colleague of this patient, can they imagine how wives and husbands and children of our patients must feel when we tell them to get off their loved ones bed. I hope our “leader” has taken the time to reflect on this, I suspect they have not.